Herrman Stories

Frances Basgall (Herrman)
Edward and Frances Basgall 2008


    Grandma was born on the Herrman farmstead when times were very hard, and yes, she really did have to walk 2 miles to school. She was only given the opportunity to complete the first eight grades but was much wiser than her schooling. Mom was raised with 5 sisters and 3 brothers in a small farm house. Many times she talked about the family, especially her sisters who were very close. She would often laugh about the wild wagon rides her dad would take them on; he was known as one to let the horses run.
    She married Edward Basgall and they lived with his folks on the farm 3 miles west of Loretta. When Dad’s folks moved to Lacrosse they took over the farmstead. Grandma; milked cows, raised chickens, cooked and keep everything going on the farm, with the exception of those darn turkeys that wouldn't cooperate for anything. The only utility available on the farm was propane for heating and cooking. She used wash tubs and an old hand ringer for laundry. She made her own Lie Soap that was strong enough to clean the hide off of anything that needed cleaning. On this farm they started a family with; Bill, Sylvia and Leo. Mom and dad talked many times about the neighbors and family who helped during difficult times on the farm. 

    The farm house was moved and family relocated to Loretto, Kansas. They packed everything including the kitchen sink and moved to Loretto. Grandma and son Bill operated the local grocery store for 15 years. While in Loretto the family grew with two more children; John and Paul. Loretto became the family home for many years.
    Grandma had many simple but special things that made her proud. She could put together family meals that feed a group of farm hands from everything off the farm. The family always joked how the restaurant didn't close till late because everyone was on different schedules. The house was full with the sweet smell of fresh baked bread and she was always looking for volunteers to help turn the crank on the noodle machine. The boys would fight over who got the last chocolate covered roll. Wheat harvest was a very special and busy time on the farm. Grandma would put together a picnic with the best fried chicken, ice tea and baked bread you have ever eaten, all in the shade of the truck and combine in the field.
    Grandma was a very accomplished quilt maker. Everyone in the family has a special quilt and all the grandchildren got a baby blanket. Grandma made sure everyone was warm on a cold winter night. She would take her crafts to different shops and was always looking for someone to help with a garage sale. She was passionate about her BINGO, except when she had to share the $20.00 winnings with someone else. Grandma also loved to do a little gambling on the slot machines, but we sure heard when those machines would take her $5.00 of nickels and not pay out.
    Grandma was a collector of many beautiful treasures. She collected everything from dolls, pocket knives, salt & pepper shakers and much more. Her collection of dishes was Grandma’s true pride and joy. The Pink Depression Glass Dish Sets are breathtaking and her hutches are beautiful.
    Grandma enjoyed her grand children and great grand children. She would hide little toys in every closest and always have a small car or doll gift for us. Grandma was always concerned how the family was doing and I’m sure she is watching over all of us now. Grandma and Grandpa were married for 63 wonderful years. Her last days were full of joy as she pasted away lovingly in her own kitchen in grandpa’s arms.

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